Lola Veil, Mesa Public Policy Examiner
The Frio Fire, that burned in the Pinal Mountains near Globe Arizona, burned from August 28 to sometime in mid September. The fire was lightning caused. The Forest Service utilized the fire to clear underbrush. This natural thinning of the forest is good for the ecosystem and helps to prevent a more catastrophic fire in the future.
There are however issues with how the smoke affected, and will affect, the health of the community. Nearly everyone we have talked to experienced some type of negative physical affects from the smoke.
There is also the issue of what some in area call “Globe's Dirty Little Secret.” That being the fact in 1965, the US Forest Service began a land improvement program in the Pinal Mountains. The program called for spraying an area of chaparral with Agent Orange to accomplish the objectives of multiple land use. The toxins were sprayed numerous times through 1965 to 1969.
There is a great deal of information available on the internet regarding the health affects this toxin had on Globe/Miami citizens. Many died very young, suffering from the horrific affects of Agent Orange. The water table in the canyons was polluted. There are reports of ongoing health issues with children and grandchildren of those exposed.
READ MORE: http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-mesa/agent-orange-treated-mountains-burn-sending-smoke-into-arizona-communities